Apple might be planning on releasing as many as four iPads this year, but there is no tablet more compelling than the rumored 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2, a new slate that is speculated to revive the Cupertino-based tech giant’s struggling tablet business. If rumors are any indication, however, it seems that not only would the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 live up to the hype, it would also enter the market far earlier than expected.
The Cupertino-based tech giant’s tablet sales have been in a slump for years now, with interest in slates decreasing as smartphones get larger displays. Apart from this, numerous users of Apple’s iPads have opted to keep their devices for years, which translated to lost sales and revenue for newer models. Things were shaken up a little bit, however, with the introduction of the iPad Pro series, comprised of a 12.9-inch model and a smaller, slightly more advanced 9.7-inch variant that was released early last year.
The two iPad Pros were an entirely different breed of tablets, in the way that they are targeted toward the enterprise market and power users. With hefty specs and a couple of advanced accessories, the iPad Pro series has been dubbed by Apple as the next big thing in personal computing. So far, however, the limitations of iOS has limited the iPad Pros’ potential, and both the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch variants have pretty much become niche devices.
If rumors about Apple’s 2017 tablets are any indication, however, it appears that the Cupertino-based tech giant is preparing to pull out all stops to ensure that 2017’s iPad series would be serious competitors in the computing industry. According to speculations, Apple would be doing this by releasing four tablets this year, a budget device, a refresh for the 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch Pros, and a new 10.5-inch device that would incorporate numerous advances never before seen in an Apple tablet, according to a MacWorld report.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is rumored to be released with a similar form factor as the 9.7-inch iPad variant. For this to happen, Apple would need to decrease the size of the 10.5-inch iPad’s bezels radically. Over the past few months, renders of the upcoming device have emerged with concepts depicting a full-screen iPad. Considering that the feature might be exclusive to the iPhone 8 this year, however, there is a good chance that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro would still feature a classic Home Button, albeit with far smaller bezels as its predecessors.
One thing that has struck Apple fans is the rumor that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro would be equipped with the most advanced display that the tech giant has ever released for a tablet. According to a PC Advisor report, developers have found references to 120fps displays in Xcode, which has been interpreted widely as Apple fitting the 10.5-inch slate with a screen that has an impressively quick refresh rate. The current 12.9-inch and 9.7-inch iPad Pros have 60Hz displays, which, while capable enough for conventional applications, still lags at times when using the Apple Pencil to create content. With a 120Hz display, however, even the most taxing graphics applications would be handled by the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 with ease.
Of course, the critically acclaimed, yet surprisingly rare True Tone display that is found in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is expected to be fitted on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 as well. The feature, which automatically optimizes the display depending on the ambient light, has received nothing but praise from consumers and critics alike. Despite this, however, Apple has yet to release another slate with the advanced feature. Thus, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro might very well be the device that would debut the feature once more.
If rumors prove accurate, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 would see a release this coming June, during Apple’s WWDC 2017. While the tech giant has not confirmed the launch, noted Apple analysts such as KGI’s Ming-Chi Kuo have stated that the chances of the tech giant revealing the 10.5-inch flagship slate on the developers’ conference are very high. Pricing for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 remains unknown, though speculations are high that the device would start at around $699 for the base 32GB model.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]